Sunday, October 19, 2008

Different beginnings, same endings

Interesting conversation a couple of days back with [Stacy], a waitress and cook at a Soul Food restaurant I go to for lunch sometimes. When I come there and choose between fish, macaroni and cheese and potato salad, or pancakes, eggs and the rest of what goes in a breakfast, we discuss things such as the ethics of drinking on the job, differences in Christian beliefs, ill-fated sexual adventures and other miscellaneous topics. Of course, recently the cloud of the current political climate has invaded the atmosphere and our discourse.

Somehow, we had gotten to talking about religious beliefs determining who can and can't be a country leader. [Stacy] could not vote for someone who was a Muslim or Atheist, her being a Christian herself. She couldn't really give me a reason why, other than telling me that it says "In God We Trust" on the dollar bill. The Muslims and Atheists aren't about what this country is about, the Muslims don't like us, and to quote her "I mean, where do Atheists think we come from anyway?" (when I told her the Big Bang theory, she sucked her teeth and walked away).

I don't think she's close-minded though. She was aware that this is her perspective and she was open to other kinds of reasoning. I think, when the word Muslim comes up, she thinks of the Hamas, Hezbollahs, Al-Qaedas and things of those sort. She can't help herself (as a result of fear and conservative media warp), and she acknowledges that there are also peaceful, conscious Muslims to be spoken for. I mean, there could be a million reasons why she has these beliefs.

As for me, these discussions make me see how loose I am with these sort of things, if only to counteract this rampant sharp judgement of people's character instead of sharp judgement of their adherence to morals. I could care less if a talking bottle of orange juice was running for presidential nomination. If its priorities were:

-cleaner air and doing what we can about climate change
-putting a stop to corporations outsourcing jobs
-improving education (as well as making it more accessible. Education is a moral obligation, not a privilege.)
-paying leading infrastructural leaders more (teachers, construction, social services, scientists, police, etc.) [of course, within reason on each individual case]
-a foreign policy of less nuclear weapons and a more co-habitual world instead of a barberic, completely competitive one

then it will be alright with me. What I was trying to say to her is that people of different cultures and beliefs can very well share the same values. It comes from first realizing that there is a world outside of yourself. Then realizing that you must take care of this world and help it thrive if you want it to help you...........................

I think it was pancakes, sausages and eggs that day. I was also drinking orange juice, which would probably explain why I thought about not minding it running for president.

12 comments:

  1. Interesting. Very interesting.

    I'm a Christian, and my interests lie with the ones you listed. I truly believe in voting for the person who will see to it that our country is better off -- whether or not they are a proclaimed 'Christian.' (I am extremely doubtful of what politicians will say, obviously.)

    I agree with you -- people of different cultures and beliefs can very well share the same values.

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  2. Hey there!

    You are so damn right! My question to people (especially those who get bothered by muslims... or atheists to that matter) is - when you were born, were you born a muslim or a christian or a jew or from any other religion? Nope - you were born a human being first, and were then labled with a religion.

    I think you are absolutely right that it doesnt matter who is running the show, as long as the issues which concern people are properly and efficiently dealt with.

    Oh and one more thing..... i'm Muslim! :)

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  3. Interesting post and interesting perspectives. :)

    Anyways, I don't think religon should interfer with politics either. They should be separated aspects. Otherwise it discriminates the minorities.

    Ps. I like what biscuitinabasket is saying: "Nope - you were born a human being first, and were then labled with a religion." I agree with that, I think that is so true. :D

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  4. To me a christian is a person that feels, thinks and acts like Jesus. EG Mother Theresa. Not a person that just labels themselves "christian" Is the hypocrisy of the catholic church that made me leave the church. But I still consider Jesus a great teacher and prophet.

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  5. Some pretty sound thinking in this post. We have an election here in 2–3 weeks and it'd be nice if our media focused more on clear reporting and analysis of policies than on what the politicians had for breakfast and the results of the latest opinion poll. I guess my decision will be based on: 1) what the candidates say they'll do; 2) my perception of how competent they are to do that; and 3) my perception of the extent to which they can be trusted to do what they promise.

    Pancakes, sausages, and eggs. Mmm...

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  6. I like that image of "talking orange juice". It is interesting, though ... how our politics are influenced by what we hear about candidates (i.e. religion, actions etc.) rather than by what the candidates' values are. Wouldn't that be innovative? Voting for someone based on what they believe in?

    A Soul Food restaurant? that sounds like fun.

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  7. Okay, this -

    "...when you were born, were you born a muslim or a christian or a jew or from any other religion? Nope - you were born a human being first, and were then labled with a religion."

    - is my new most favorite quote EVER. ^_^

    I have always thought it's extremely unfortunate how much importance is placed on a person's religion. Christian, Muslin, Wiccan, Jewish, whatever... who cares? *Especially* where politics are concerned.

    You always have the most interesting, thought provoking, beautifully written posts. =)

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  8. The comment on the talking bottle of orange juice was spot on. In fact I think a talking bottle of orange juice would be less likely to act in self-interest.

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  9. I thought I'd stop by to say I miss you while I am taking time off from the world of blogging.

    I feel you big time on this post....the soul food for breakfast....OJ for president(not the one wearing the gloves though) and the not caring what a presidential candidates religion might be!

    Good Work!

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  10. "I think, when the word Muslim comes up, she thinks of the Hamas, Hezbollahs, Al-Qaedas and things of those sort."

    Unfortunately, far too many Americans do...then, that's one of the reasons why so many people in the world, when the word American comes up, think of ignorant bigots who have little interest in or respect for anyone else in the world. This, of course, is one reason that this upcoming election is so important--people all over the world are seeing the hate being unleashed at McCain rallies (and encouraged by the candidate herself at Palin rallies), and, at the same time, scratching their heads in wonder at the possibility that we could go completely against type and elect Barak Obama. The choice is ours.

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  11. Oh, and yeah, if I couldn't vote for Obama, I'd definitely write in the bottle of orange juice before I hit the Republican lever....

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  12. Don't Feed The PixiesOctober 27, 2008 at 11:52 AM

    I've been thinking about doing a posting about exactly what constitutes being a christian. I work between two call centres - one of which has a very high Muslim population and i have nothing but respect for their beliefs.

    As you say in your post the word Muslim has somehow wrongly become associated with Al-Quaeda...how would Christians feel if we just went on about the actions of the Knights Templars or the IRA all the time?

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